This past Monday, I joined over a 100 rabbis, rabbinical students and volunteers from across the United States to lobby the United States Congress on behalf of American Jewish World Service in hopes of reforming the food aid provisions in the Farm Bill currently being edited in Congress. AJWS and Oxfam recently published a report that described how reforming food aid in the Farm Bill could easily save over 17 million lives worldwide if we transition from shipping food from the United States to needy countries to allowing local regional procurement to empower local communities to determine what they need to fight hunger in their communities.
My team of activists met with the congressional staff of Congressmen Eliot Engel and Charles Rangel, and were given the forum to share how our experiences with AJWS compelled us to come and speak up for food aid reform. In response to our visit, one congressional staff member said that in her thirty years working in Congress, this was the first time that anyone ever came to lobby her on this issue. Much work is left to be done to support AJWS’s campaign, so if you are interested in joining the fight, visit their Reverse Hunger website and make your voice heard.